Arts & Culture

  1. ‘Mail Art’ project offers methaphorical transport

    The U-M and Ann Arbor libraries are supporting the U.S. Postal Service in September. Creative ‘mail artists’ are asked to conceive and write a postcard to their future selves, describing this unprecedented time in history. An exhibit will follow.

  2. I need a (super)hero

    Just as our world devolves into a dystopia worthy of a comic-book series, award-winning author Saladin Ahmed, ’99, sends two minority superheroes to the rescue.

  3. A ‘menacing, alien machine’

    The coronavirus’ spiky ball tells a story, and if people understood it better they might feel more confident about defeating it, says the scientist who founded U-M’s BioArtography Project.

  4. What does a ‘public space’ become when the public is isolated?

    Why is it important to prioritize art-making as a way to alleviate anxiety and loneliness? How can art-making be considered a service? Artist Cullen Washington Jr., whose solo exhibition, ‘The Public Square,’ opened pre-pandemic, shares insights.

  5. Another time, another place

    This sentimental collection of essays by Peter Damm, BA ’71, takes you to a world of softly faded Polaroids and crackly AM radios. There are summer hijinks at Lake Michigan, poignant life lessons from the youngest of six Catholic children, and hilarious confessions that are both intimately personal and wholly relatable.

  6. If the shoe fits . . .

    How painting an abstract Nike AJ1 helped self-proclaimed ‘Adidas man’ Shane Ward, BFA ’96, claim his power — and his grace — as an artist, apprentice, and African American man in 2020.

  7. Vulnerability, gravitas in quarantine docs

    Instead of earning a stranger’s trust and documenting a moment in time for their final projects, students photographed loved ones in lockdown.

  8. Otto Penzler’s nirvana of noir

    This fiction guru/publisher has spent decades curating his Mysterious Press and Mysterious Bookshop. Penzler often consults with ‘regulars’ like Stephen King and James Patterson — and he suggests these thrillers to pass the pandemic.

  9. The perils of social media and self-delusion

    ‘New Yorker’ essayist Jia Tolentino, MFA ’14, explores the ‘peculiar effects’ of self-deception, self-destruction, and the performance of identity in ‘Trick Mirror.’